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The very first J&B site, Baltic Street has been a material recycling facility (MRF), in a variety of guises, since the company started trading in 1998 from the site. After the company moved its Head Office to the larger site at Windermere Road, where kerbside recyclables are now processed, the original Baltic Street site began to specialise in sorting and treating waste from businesses.
One of four J&B sites that is operated across the North East, we caught up with Baltic Street’s Site Manager, Leon Homer, to learn about the Baltic Street team and the work they do.
Tell me about the Baltic Street site?
Baltic Street was originally with J&B Recycling’s parent company trading solid fuels earlier in the 1970s. After J&B Recycling Limited was established in 1998 the site remained with the company and has since grown and developed alongside the business, sorting and processing construction and demolition type wastes and commercial commingled recyclable waste.
Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
After finishing school I joined the armed forces, starting at Harrogate Army College and moving on to Catterick to complete phase two training and then on to my battalion (Green Howards) based in Chepstow, Wales, whilst in the Green Howards I also did tours of Northern Ireland.
After leaving the army I joined another metal recycling company as a picker on the metal sorting belt. After eight years of employment and promotions up to site manager the business itself closed down, this allowed me to offer my services to J&B where after an interview and phone calls with Matt Tyrie I was offered a start within the company. I then started at Baltic Street under the guidance of Alan Jackson, who is now happily retired.
Can you introduce us to the team at Baltic Street?
Let me start with our great weighbridge operator, Jane Harrison. We also have two class one drivers, Jamie Frank and Dave Moloney, three banksman/load checkers, Connor White, Krystian Wiankowski and Derek Mckinlay who all do amazing work every single day and 20 of some of the best sorting operatives in the North East.
What does a typical day at Baltic Street involve?
Vehicles start arriving between 5am and 6am to load transfer station residue sorted from our commercial processing. The team starts at 6am with operations to process all commercial and household materials where recovery is key to improve recycling rates.
We also have three members of the team who deal with all types of materials ranging from general waste to mixed construction and demolition and various other forms of materials. Their job is to safely off-load all vehicles to their relevant places whilst also inspecting the waste that is being brought into the site.
Have there been any developments at Baltic Street over the years?
From starting at Baltic Street I’ve seen some big changes within the site. We had a massive investment in a Dos-O-Matt feeder to improve throughput of the commingled recyclables and quality of outputs produced. J&B also invested heavily on new mobile plant like the Liebherr LH22 Grab and various infrastructure improvements such as concreting and shed cladding. We are currently looking at options for processing improvements.
What are you most proud of at the Baltic Street site?
I’m most proud of the fact that week on week we hit our targets for recycling rates and contribute to the profitability of the company. Without the team and the help from above none of this would be possible.